Wordnik Acquires $8M Worth of Series C Funding

Wordnik has recently gained $8 million worth of new funding with the help of new investor Lucas Venture Group as well as the participation of Baseline Ventures, Roger McNamee, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and FLOODGATE. There were also other private investors.

Joe Hyrkin, Wordnik’s CEO, shares more about the company and this recent funding through this e-interview with Lead411:

Who are your competitors and how are you different from them?

There are various companies that compete with aspects of what Wordnik offers, but none that offer the set of services made available by our Word Graph.  Our core technology makes up the world’s largest and most comprehensive graph of words, their meanings and relationships to other words, phrases and people.  Wordnik has two products:

Our word graph set of services is used across all digital text to automatically categorize content and provide automated matching services based on the actual meaning of the words and concepts in the document. As our founder, Erin McKean likes to say, Wordnik is “…like GPS for words.”

Our second product is our publicly available website that leverages our APIs to create the largest word reference site on the web.  Our six million word corpus dwarfs all other dictionary or word reference sites.   The site aggregates word meanings from the world’s most respected dictionaries but goes even further: it offers example sentences, an audio pronunciation, usage from Project Gutenberg and Wikipedia, and Twitter feeds and Flickr photos tagged with the word being looked up.  It also allows users to add their own meaning and context to the words, to make it more of a “living” site for words than limited search engines, static dictionaries or even dictionary sites.

What percentage of your marketing budget are spent on the following?

A.            Advertising –

B.            Social Media Marketing – about 30-40%

C.            SEO –

D.            PR – about 30-40%

E.            Direct Marketing –

F.            Other –

The remainder is split across the other categories.

What marketing tactic has given you the highest ROI?  What percentage ROI do you get back on this?

SEO has probably given us the best return, though our partnerships with such premium content partners as The Guardian, Simon & Schuster, Forbes and others, have given us a great deal of exposure and access.

What do you plan to spend your new funding on?  Product development?  Marketing?

We’ll spend the bulk of our recently raised funds on product and service development and hiring additional technical and business development staff.

If you are the CEO, what are your biggest challenges?

My biggest challenges include hiring, and operating without a head of business development currently.

How many employees do you have?


When were you founded?


How much did you revenue increase (if any) this year over last year?

Since we’re a private company, we don’t comment on specific revenue numbers or growth percentages, but I can share that we will see a substantial revenue increase in 2011 over 2010.

Want to read more about their recent funding? Please look at Wordnik’s press release here.

About Christine Guinto

Christine Guinto is our part-time writer for the Lead411 Blog. She specializes in our funding news. You can contact her at christine [at] lead411.net. Christine Amos on Google+!